Monday, 8 February 2016

Marvel's Civil War & Coca-Cola Super Bowl TV Spots

There's two film franchise installments I'm really looking forward to this year.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Captain America: Civil War both from Disney. The former didn't get a TV Spot during the Super Bowl, but the latter did and Marvel knocked it out of the park asking audiences to choose a side: #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan.

The Captain America installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are always a delight. The Winter Soldier is my favourite MCU movie and there's no reason not to expect directors Joe and Anthony Russo to up the ante further in Civil War when it's released 29th April in the UK.

It wasn't all about divided loyalties from Marvel at the Super Bowl. An hilarious tie-in with Coca-Cola pitched Ant-Man against the Hulk.

Next time you're reading or watching the MCU reach for a Coke.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Extra episode for Doctor Who Series 10

Steven Moffat, who is stepping down as Doctor Who showrunner, has confirmed there'll be an extra episode of the hit time travel series before he bows out at the end of series 10.

Moffat told the Daily Record: “Ahead of me this year I’ve got fourteen Doctor Who‘s and three Sherlock films…”

The Doctor Who showrunner previously stated: “I know that what I’ve signed on to do is 13 more episodes of Doctor Who – including a Christmas [2016] special. I’m trying to argue for slightly more than that, but we’ll see.”

Controversially, there'll only be a Christmas special unless the extra episode is an additional one-off in 2016. This is speculation and the episode may indeed be a Christmas special for 2017. However, a new Doctor Who spin-off, Class, begins very soon on BBC 3.

Stephen Moffat's final series as showrunner airs in spring 2017 and there are rumours Peter Capaldi will be leaving after three series in the titular role. Jenna Coleman's replacement has not be cast.

Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall will take the helm with series 11 in 2018. Chibnall has written six episodes of Doctor Who, as well as many episodes of Torchwood, where he was co-producer.

What do you think the extra episode will be? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The TARDIS Awakens in Doctor Who/Star Wars mash-up

Star Wars: The Force Awakens fan trailer mash-ups are a thing and Doctor Who is the latest to undergo the treatment. So, when my favourite franchises get mashed together with aplomb, I'm going to share it.

Rose Tyler channels Rey when a mysterious stranger enters her life... This is glorious and ties-in, inadvertently, with this month's Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) article concerning fandom of both franchises. Is it OK to love BB-8 and K-9? Of course it is.

Stay tuned for an upcoming Doctor Who series 9 retrospective with Andrew Lewin and then we turn our attention to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens this June

LEGO and Star Wars are a match made in geek heaven and a LEGO video game based on The Force Awakens is the kind of tie-in I can get behind.

The latest installment in the Star Wars saga to receive the Telltale Games treatment is confirmed on the Xbox Store website and bound for every gaming platform. Ever. Well, that's not strictly true.

Watch the awesome announcement trailer.

“We’re extremely proud of the LEGO Star Wars videogames, truly an incredible franchise that has sold more than 33 million copies and helped ignite a passion for numerous fun-filled LEGO games enjoyed by countless gamers around the world,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be pushing the series forward with innovative new gameplay mechanics, while also exploring new parts of the universe that are sure to excite and delight both LEGO and Star Wars fans, as well as newcomers to our games.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the LEGO Star Wars video game franchise, which kicked off such a beloved series of LEGO titles more than a decade ago,” said Ada Duan, Vice President, Digital Business & Franchise Management, Lucasfilm. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens allows players to experience the new film in a unique way that only TT Games can provide, combining signature humor with epic Star Wars action. With exclusive story content exploring new details about the movie and its characters, it’s a perfect fit for fans young and old.”

I'm in from day-one and there's exclusive content for PlayStation comprising the Droid Character Pack and Phantom Limb Level Pack! Incidentally, EA has discounted Star Wars Battlefront on the PlayStation and Xbox stores for a limited time. Took the plunge and picked up the Ultimate Edition for PS4. Feel free to add me on PSN: Marvel_Megatron and mention this blog.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out on the 28th June for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Captain Phasma is returning for Star Wars: Episode VIII

Fans of Captain Phasma rejoice.

Game of Thrones actor Gwendoline Christie confirmed she'll be back to plague the Resistance in director Rian Johnson's sequel to The Force Awakens, which begins principal photography in London this month.

"I will be in the next Star Wars movie," Christie told People at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

"I was very over excited. I made no secret of the fact that I really campaigned for the part for a long time," she added. "And then I was delighted when JJ Abrams wanted to have me in the film and then wanted to cast me in this role that had originally been designed for a man."

Incidentally, the character of Captain Phasma began life as a discarded design for Kylo Ren after it caught the attention of director JJ Abrams.

**Spoiler warning for The Force Awakens**

Hopefully, Star Wars' chrome colossus will get more screen time after escaping the trash compactor on Starkiller Base. The marketing suggested a female Boba Fett for a new generation of Star Wars fans. What we got was something akin to a cameo overshadowed by fan favourite TR-8R, the Stormtrooper who challenged a lightsaber-wielding Finn.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Force Awakens on Blu-ray this April

Amazon lists the Blu-ray release for Star Wars: The Force Awakens as 5th April. This is mere months after a record-breaking box office run last December. A far cry from when the original Star Wars movie made its home video debut several years after being shown in cinemas.

Whilst director JJ Abrams has said there won't be an extended edition. Expect plenty of deleted scenes including a First Order Snowspeeder chase as suggested by merchandise.

Personally, I can't wait to see the latest installment in the Star Wars saga, again and again, on my Samsung Curved SUHD 4K 3D LED TV.

Looking forward to the blu-ray release and finding all the easter eggs? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 29 January 2016

New NOW TV Smart Box teases 4K

Sky Q isn't the only new product from Sky this year. NOW TV, the company's streaming service, is to get a NOW TV Smart Box that appears to be based on a Roku 4 (supports 4K) and includes 60 free-to-air channels when it's released later this year.

Additionally, a brand new user interface (UI) will be rolled out in February to existing NOW TV Boxes. A new ‘Best of Catch Up’ section, curated by content partners, showcases all the best shows customers may have missed in one place.

Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV said: “The launch of our new homepage on the NOW TV Box will make it easier than ever for our customers to quickly find and watch their favourite shows. And when the new NOW TV Smart Box arrives later this year, it will be the perfect one-stop box to get a contract-free, flexible way of watching the best of pay TV and free-to-air content all in one place.”

Last year the NOW TV Box was refreshed with a Roku 3-based model that is 6 x faster and I've been most impressed with it. You can read my review of the original NOW TV Box here.

With the news of a NOW TV Smart Box and the possibility of 4K content. I'm hopeful Sky's streaming service will offer 1080p and 5.1 surround sound in the near future. NOW TV has lagged behind competitors Amazon Prime and Netflix in this regard.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Star Wars and Marvel movies to infinity... and beyond!

Disney CEO Bob Iger told the BBC the Star Wars saga is set to run and run. Most likely outliving fans who watched the original trilogy first time round.

“There are five Star Wars films – four more with Episode VII: The Force Awakens – that are in varying stages of development and production,” Iger told Newsbeat. “There will be more after that. I don’t know how many; I don’t know how often.”

This also applies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which shows no signs of stopping soon.

“Marvel, you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of characters [from the comic books] – that will go on forever,” Iger said, clearly suggesting there's no fatigue from fans.

“No, I don’t think they’re getting weary,” Iger added. “But I think we keep raising the bar in terms of telling stories that bring them back, that excite them, that make it feel new, and that is what we do for a living.”

The next installment in the Star Wars saga is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and for true believers there's Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange in 2016. X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool are not part of the MCU.

Which of these Star Wars and Marvel movies are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Star Wars won't be battling Avatar in Christmas 2017

Star Wars: Episode VIII gets pushed back to 15th December 2017, as part of a strategic move by Disney, and pundits excitedly predicted it would go up against James Cameron's Avatar sequel in a fierce festive box office battle. However, it looks like the return to Pandora has been delayed, again, according to a report in The Wrap.

Cameron has yet to begin principle photography and Twentieth Century Fox has not issued a new release date for the next installment, nor the further two sequels shot back-to-back in New Zealand.

Given the director's propensity for perfection, developing new and ambitious technologies, and prolonged post-production. It's highly possible the Avatar franchise won't continue until the conclusion of the new Star Wars trilogy at Disney in 2019.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean hijacks Star Wars release date

Star Wars fans will have to wait seven more months for the release of Episode VIII!

The Force Awakens sequel, written and directed by Rian Johnson, has been moved from 26th May, which marks the 40th anniversary of the original Star Wars' release in the US, to 15th December 2017. Pitting the Star Wars franchise directly against James Cameron's sequel to Avatar during the lucrative Christmas release window.

This makes more sense. The Force Awakens was a critical and commercial success last December, gives Johnson time to make a darker sequel to rival The Empire Strikes Back and Disney can spread its tentpole blockbuster franchises more evenly throughout the year. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Lies will now occupy the 26th May release date.

Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story should bridge the gap this December.

Star Wars: Episode VIII begins principal photography in London next month.